THE parents of a student who killed herself at her halls of residence said yesterday she was failed by mental health services.
University of Liverpool student Ceara Thacker, 19, was found hanged in May last year, an inquest heard.
Tragic Ceara Thacker with her father Iain[/caption]
Her family was not told she had taken an overdose three months earlier or that she was struggling with her mental health, an inquest in the city was told.
After the hearing, her father Iain, 56, said: “I will never understand why no one at the university picked up the phone to us in February 2018 and told us that our 19-year-old daughter was in hospital after taking an overdose.
“If we had known how Ceara was suffering we could have, and would have, made a difference.”
He said his daughter had found herself “falling through the cracks” with different mental health services, who failed to communicate with each other.
He added: “In my view it is absolutely essential that all universities have in place proper systems for identifying students at risk and communicating effectively with healthcare services and, where appropriate, with families, to ensure they are kept safe.”
‘SHE WAS FAILED’
Her mother, Lorraine, 51, said: “At every turn, she was failed. I can’t imagine how frightening that must have been for her.”
“We don’t want any other family to go through this pain.”
Gavin Brown, pro-vice-chancellor for education at the University of Liverpool, said: “We have conducted a thorough review of the support Ceara was offered and, as a result of this and our ongoing review of how these services work, we have instigated a number of improvements to mental health support services.
“This includes an additional £500,000 investment in staffing and the introduction of rapid access appointments with an adviser.
Coroner Anita Bhardwaj said there was no record of doctors talking to Ceara about calling her family in Bradford.
She added that a two-month delay between her referring herself to the university mental health advisers and getting an appointment was unacceptable.
Ceara’s mum, Lorraine, 51, said: ‘At every turn, she was failed. I can’t imagine how frightening that must have been for her’[/caption]
WHERE TO GET HELP
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Hector’s House, www.hectorshouse.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
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